Water conservation is a part of the everyday work done at the University of Georgia’s Stripling Irrigation Research Park (SIRP), where scientists are constantly developing innovative sustainable agricultural practices.
Georgia farmers can see some of those methods firsthand on Thursday, July 18, during the park’s annual field day beginning at 8:30 a.m.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp recently designated July as Smart Irrigation Month and the SIRP is participating by emphasizing the importance of water conservation.
Bob Stougaard, assistant dean for research at the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), and Mark McCann, CAES assistant dean for Extension, will serve as keynote speakers.
“Georgia is nationally and internationally recognized as a leader in efficient irrigation technologies that have been tested and refined by irrigation and precision-agriculture scientists and researchers and adopted industry wide,” said Calvin Perry, SIRP superintendent. “This field day is an opportunity to showcase some of those technological advancements and the differences they’re making in our research plots.”
SIRP provides educational opportunities for farmers, irrigation companies and students to learn more about water use in agriculture through field days, tours and the annual 4-H20 camp held in June. At the SIRP, UGA faculty test different technological advancements and develop unique irrigation methods designed to conserve water.
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For example, variable rate irrigation (VRI) optimizes irrigation applications throughout a field allowing farmers to adjust irrigation settings to match field size, shape, and condition so water is not wasted on an areas where irrigation isn’t needed.
“A dynamic collaboration of entities in Georgia has teamed up to spotlight Smart Irrigation tools, management practices, and the social and economic benefits derived from irrigated agriculture throughout the month of July, to share the message of Georgia’s commitment to water stewardship,” Perry said.
The field day is free to attend, but those interested are asked to RSVP by July 11 at 229-522-3623 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The park is located at 8207 Hwy 37, Camilla, Georgia, 31730.